Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday called on the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to accelerate the process of giving approval to the State’s request to build two seaports in Lekki and Badagry.
The Governor said the State had already deployed resources and manpower to the construction of the seaports, which, he said, were being initiated to complement the capacities of the existing ports in Apapa and Tin Can Island.
Sanwo-Olu spoke while receiving members of the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on Ports Decongestion led by Yusuf Buba Yakub, saying that Lagos needed two additional ports which would serve the State and also build the national economy.
He said, “Lagos needs to have two other ports which would not only serve us, but also build the national economy. We have initiated the development of Lekki seaport, which has started. We are building another port in Badagry.
“But, we are still in conversation with the NPA to grant the approval because we have added five developers, financiers and partners on the Badagry port. If we can finish the construction of both seaports, it would free up the congestion in Apapa axis and create new business hub for our people.”
The governor said the Federal Government’s move to grow non-oil sector and boost the economy would be rewarding if the capacities of existing seaports were efficiently maximised.
Sanwo-Olu said his visit to the two Lagos ports within 48 hours after he assumed office was an indication of the strategic role the two seaports play in sustaining the state’s 24-hour economy.
He said the setting up of a joint taskforce by the state and the federal governments to tackle gridlock along the routes leading to the ports was a step to prepare the ground for full decongestion of the facilities.
He said, “Smooth operation of the Lagos seaports is not only critical to sustaining our commerce in Lagos State, it is also critical to the growth of the national economy. If, in truth, we want to be serious about developing non-oil sector to boost the economy, it is important for us to take proper action and decision on our seaports because they have great potential to completely transform the national economy.”
Yakub said the ad-hoc committee was set up by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, to investigate the cause of congestion of the port access roads, with the task to give recommendation towards solving the existing challenges for non-oil businesses to thrive.
Describing the seaports as “critical gateways”, he promised that the recommendation to be submitted by the committee would lead to the maximum utilisation of the seaports as well as generate jobs for the youths.
He said, “The House of Representatives believes the seaports are critical gateways for exchange of consumer goods. If our seaports are not functioning optimally, our economy would be sick. We will handle this oversight function with the urgency it demands to turn around our ports and make them efficient.”